www.uni-kiel.de/psychologie/mausfeld/ Mausfeld_Why do the lambs remain silent_2015
Mausfeld focuses on perceptual psychology and also works on the theoretical foundations of experimental psychology and the psychology of understanding. He also deals with the rivalry of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience in cognitive science. Another area of interest is the history of ideas in the natural sciences. He sees a major problem of the relationship between psychology and biology in neurological neo-reductionism. In contrast to biologistic approaches, he sees the peculiarity of the spiritual, inter alia, in the intrinsic multiperspectivity of the mind.
Mausfeld points out that knowledge of neural circuitry and activity is not enough to explain consciousness and thought processes. Not even the behavior of nematodes can be deduced from the activity of their 302 neurons. According to Mausfeld’s view, the relationship between nature and mind must be below the neural level in the sphere of physics. Evidence is given by the fact that nature is actually more enigmatic to us than our consciousness in itself. In modern physics it has become clear that the physical does not have the properties of matter ascribed to it. Mausfeld sees the special aspect of consciousness in the simplicity and wholeness of the subjective experience, which, however, reveals itself to the psychologist as a complex interaction of unconscious factors. The intrinsic multiperspectivity of thinking, which first opens up the possibilities for thought and action alternatives to humans after mouse field, results from the complex interplay of the most varied of factors. White torture and responsibility of science
In his work, Mausfeld illustrates the role of psychologists in the development, application and justification of modern white torture methods. These goals are not, as claimed, the extraction of information, but rather breaking the will, disciplining, humiliating and shaming the victims. In his account, an American Psychological Association (APA) working group to investigate the involvement of psychologists acting on behalf of the Defense Secretary. Mausfeld uses the example of torture research to define ethical and legal principles and limits of scientific work. He regards the observance of human rights as fully binding.
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychology , ’ white torture ’ and the responsibility of scientists. Psychologische Rundschau
According to Mausfeld, the cognitive ones are more important than the affective techniques, since opinions are more stable than emotions. Here Mausfeld examines the following methods:
Representation of facts as opinion
Fragmenting coherent facts so that the context, such as the historical context, is lost
Decontextualization of facts: The context of the facts is removed, so that the facts become incomprehensible isolated individual cases, which have no general relevance
Misleading recontextualization: Information is embedded in a foreign context, so that they take on a different character and, for example, no longer lead to outrage in human rights violations.
Repetition supports the “perceived truth”
Designing the range of opinions so that the desired seems to be in the middle, which most people strive for, if they are unfamiliar, because they then keep to the middle seein it as “neutral and balanced”
Making facts invisible through media selection, distraction and attention control
“Meta-propaganda”: It is part of every propaganda to claim that the news of the enemy is wrong because it is propaganda
The development of more efficient manipulation techniques rests on identifying psychological “weak spots” – those intrinsic design aspects of our mind and principles of human information processing that can be exploited for manipulation purposes. Most importantly, such principles are, by the very nature of our cognitive architecture, beyond conscious control. (…) Our mind has many hard-wired weaknesses that can be exploited for manipulative purposes, that facilitate our utilitarian abuse by the political and economic elites for maintaining and expanding their power. However, we also innately dispose of a rich repertoire of ways to use our reasoning capabilities to recognize manipulative contexts and to actively avoid them. This repertoire is akin to a natural cognitive immune system against being manipulated, but we have to take the deliberate decision to actually use it.
“The cognitive neurosciences are based on the idea that the level of neurons or neural networks constitutes a privileged level of analysis for the explanation of mental phenomena. this paper brings to mind several arguments to the effect that this presumption is ill-conceived and unwarranted in light of what is currently understood about the physical principles underlying mental achievements. it then scrutinizes the question why such conceptions are nevertheless currently prevailing in many areas of psychology. the paper argues that corresponding conceptions are rooted in four different aspects of our common-sense conception of mental phenomena and their explanation, which are illegitimately transferred to scientific enquiry. these four aspects pertain to the notion of explanation, to conceptions about which mental phenomena are singled out for enquiry, to an inductivist epistemology, and, in the wake of behavioristic conceptions, to a bias favoring investigations of input-output relations at the expense of enquiries into internal principles. to the extent that the cognitive neurosciences methodologically adhere to these tacit assumptions, they are prone to turn into a largely a-theoretical and data-driven endeavor while at the same time enhancing the prospects for receiving widespread public appreciation of their empirical findings.”
Mausfeld, R., & Heyer, D.. (2012). Colour Perception: Mind and the physical world. Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World
“ContentsnPrefacen1. perspectives on colour space , jan j. koenderink and andrea j. van doornncommentaries: from physics to perception through colorimetry: a bridge too far? , donald i.a. macleodncolorimetry fortified , paul whittlen2. light adaptation, contract adaptation, and human colour vision , michael a. websterncommentary: adaptation and the ambiguity of response measures with respect to internal structure , franz fauln3. contrast colours , paul whittlencommentaries: a background to color vision , michael a. websterncontrast coding and what else? , hans irteln4. colour and the processing of chromatic information , michael d’zmurancommentary: the processing of chromatic information , laurence t. maloneyn5. the pleistochrome: optimal opponent codes for natural colours , donald i.a. macleod and t. von der twerncommentary: thinking outside the black box , michael a. webstern6. objectivity and subjectivity revisited: colour as a psychobiological property , gary hatfieldncommentary: why is this game still being played? , paul whittlen7. a computational analysis of colour constancy , donald i.a. macleod and jurgen golzncommentary: the importance of realistic models of surface and light in the study of human colour vision , laurence t. maloneyn8. backgrounds and illuminants: the yin and yang of colour constancy , richard o. brownncommentaries: colour construction , don hoffmannfitting linear models to data , laurence t. maloneyn9. surface colour perception and environmental constraints , laurence t. maloneyncommentaries: on the function of colour vision , gary hatfieldnintrinsic colours – and what it is like to see them , zoltan jacobn10. colour constancy: developing empirical tests of computational models , david h. brainard, james m. kraft, and philippe longerencommentaries: surface colour perception and its environments , laurence t. maloneyncomparing the behaviour of machine vision algorithms and human observers , vebjorn ekroll and jurgen golzn11. the illuminant estimation hypothesis and surface colour perception , laurence t. maloney and joong nam yangncommentary: surface colour appearance in nearly natural images , david h. brainardn12. the interaction of colour and motion , donald d. hoffmanncommentary: the interaction of perceived colour and perceived motion , richard brownn13. the dual coding of colour: ‘Surface colour’ and ‘illumination colour’ as constituents of the representationalformat of perceptual primitives…”
Mausfeld, R.. (2005). The Physicalistic Trap in Perception Theory. In Perception and the Physical World
“This chapter contains sections titled: * introduction * the physicalistic trap in elementaristic approaches to perception * the physicalistic trap in functionalist and computational approaches to perception * perception theory beyond the physicalistic trap * appendix * acknowledgement * notes * references”
Mausfeld, R.. (2012). Der Schein des Realen.. Näher Dran? Zur Phänomenologie Des Wahrnehmens
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“Die traditionelle wahrnehmungspsychologie hat durch ihre physiologistische und physikalistische orientierung und die damit verbundene fokussierung auf elementaristische wahrnehmungsattribute die interne struktur der wahrnehmung und damit die explanatorischen aufgaben der wahrnehmungs- psychologie in grundlegender weise mißverstanden. ihre zugangsweise ist nicht nur phänomenolo- gisch inadäquat, sondern hat sich auch explanatorisch als unfruchtbar erwiesen. dieser beitrag zeigt dies am beispiel des wahrnehmungsattributs ‚phänomenal real’ auf, das in der traditionellen wahr- nehmungspsychologie als wenig erklärungsbedürftig angesehen wird. tatsächlich stellt jedoch ‚real‘ ein internes attribut dar, dessen zuweisung zu wahrnehmungsobjekten und situationen eigenen psychologischen gesetzmäßigkeiten folgt, die sich aus physiologistischer und physikalistischer per- spektive nicht verstehen lassen. erst in den letzten jahren wird im zusammenhang mit problemen, die sich insbesondere bei virtual reality environments ergeben, die frage nach den auslösebedingungen für das attribut ‚real’ wieder thematisiert. offensichtlich verfügt unser wahrnehmungssystem über eine (biologisch vorgegebene und kulturell überformte) ‚interne semantik‘ für die zuschreibung des attributes ‚real‘, von deren komplexen möglichkeiten wir in der kultur (z.b. beim film oder theater) vielfältigen gebrauch machen. i.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau
“The disparity of highlights on specular reflecting surfaces usually differs from the disparity of the surface points. a. kirschmann (1895) proposed that this fact may be used as a binocular cue for gloss perception. this was confirmed by a. blake and h. bülthoff (1990) who found that subjects judged the glossiness of convex ellipsoidal surfaces as most realistic if the disparity of the highlights was close to the physical correct one. extending on this finding, we investigate more closely whether the effect of highlight disparity depends on the sharpness of the highlight and the relative amount of diffuse and specular reflection. we measured the effect of highlight disparity on both perceived strength and perceived authenticity of gloss. we used complex, three-dimensional curved surfaces that were stereoscopically presented on a crt. the reflection characteristics were varied using the phong lighting model. highlights were presented either with or without highlight disparity. in a rating experiment, subjects were asked to judge the strength and the authenticity of the perceived surface glossiness. the presence of highlight disparity lead to an enhancement of both the authenticity and the strength of perceived glossiness. the latter finding was confirmed in an additional matching experiment.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Psychologie, biologie, kognitive neurowissenschaften zur gegenwärtigen dominanz neuroreduktionistischer positionen zu ihren stillschweigenden grundannahmen. Psychologische Rundschau
“The cognitive neurosciences are based on the idea that the level of neurons constitutes a privileged level of analysis for the explanation of mental phenomena. this paper brings to mind several arguments to elucidate that this presumption is ill-conceived and unwarranted in light of what is currently understood about the physical principles underlying mental achievements. it then scrutinizes the question why nevertheless such conceptions are currently prevailing in many areas of psychology. the paper argues that neuroreductionist conceptions are rooted in four different aspects of our common-sense conception of mental phenomena and their explanation that are illegitimately transferred to scientific inquiry. these four aspects pertain to the notion of explanation, to conceptions about which mental phenomena are singled out for inquiry, to an inductivist epistemology, and, in the wake of behavioristic conceptions, to a bias favoring investigations of input-output relations at the expense of inquiries into internal principles. to the extent that the cognitive neurosciences methodologically adhere to these tacit assumptions, they are prone to turn into a largely atheoretical and data-driven endeavour while at the same time receiving wide-spread public appreciation of their empirical findings. (psycinfo database record (c) 2012 apa, all rights reserved)”
Heyer, D., & Mausfeld, R.. (2002). Perception and the physical world: psychological and philosophical issues in perception. Perception
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“The focus of this book is on conceptual and philosophical issues of perception including the classic notion of unconscious inferences in perception. the book consists of contributions from a group of internationally renowned researchers who spent a year together as distinguised fellows at the german centre for advanced study. each chapter concludes with a lively, informative debate in the form of comments and replies from the contributors of the book. contributors are of prominent international reputation each chapter concludes with comments and replies from the contributors of the book to give informative debate the only book available to blend perception and philosophy in this fashion”
Narens, L., & Mausfeld, R.. (1992). On the Relationship of the Psychological and the Physical in Psychophysics. Psychological Review
“Presents a theory of the relationship of the psychological and the physical and uses it to formulate a new kind of meaningfulness principle for psychophysical application. this new principle calls into question the psychological relevance of many kinds of quantitative psychophysical relationships. as an illustration, it is used to study comparisons of sensitivity involving weber fractions, particularly comparisons across sensory modalities. the methods of the illustration extend easily to other psychophysical situations. (psyclit database copyright 1992 american psychological assn, all rights reserved)”
Mausfeld, R.. (2012). “Colour” As Part of the Format of Different Perceptual Primitives: The Dual Coding of Colour. In Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World
“The field of colour perception has often been praised in recent years as a paradigm of cognitive science. while this certainly has some validity, it contrasts with the fact that the field makes very little contact with the sort of inquiries into mental representations to be found elsewhere in cognitive science (understood as naturalistic inquiries of the mind/brain). i find this quite puzzling, because in the earlier literature of the field it was clearly recognised-for instance by bühler, gelb, kardos, koffka-that ʹcolourʹ could be understood only as part of the general problem of perceptual representations. their insights could not, of course, take advantage of the theoretical language provided by what has been called the cognitive revolution. for that reason, and also because they were overshadowed by the success of more technical fields, they fell almost entirely into oblivion. the technical fields, successful with respect to their own specific goals, were colorimetry, neurophysiological investigations into peripheral colour coding, and more recently, functionalist-computational approaches that emphasise certain pre-given performance criteria.. the success of these fields has not been hampered by the fact that they share certain common-sense conceptions of colour, particularly the idea that colour is an autonomous attribute that can be studied almost in isolation from other perceptual attributes. because such common-sense conceptions of colour appear to be, by and large, innocuous to advances in these fields, no need has arisen so far to relinquish them. however, precisely because of the successes of these fields inquiries into colour perception, understood as the endeavour to develop explanatory frameworks for the role of ʹcolourʹ within our perceptual and cognitive architecture, have suffered a less fortunate fate. the conceptual vocabulary which inquiries into colour perception 1 borrowed from fields, such as neurophysiology, that pursue different explanatory purposes has remained alien to its intrinsic structure and has veiled its core problems. my interest in colour perception (which, a long time ago, was incited by russellʹs problems of philosophy) has been motivated by the question of how we can, within naturalistic inquiry, describe the conceptual structure with which our perceptual system is biologically endowed. such questions have long been pursued in ethology and have yielded intriguing results. the theoretical picture that is emerging h…”
Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Attribute of Realness and the Internal Organization of Perceptual Reality. In Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology: Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance
“The chapter deals with the notion of phenomenal realness, which was first systematically explored by albert michotte. phenomenal realness refers to the impression that a perceptual object is perceived to have an autonomous existence in our mind-independent world. perceptual psychology provides an abundance of phenomena, ranging from amodal completion to picture perception, that indicate that phenomenal realness is an independent perceptual attribute that can be conferred to perceptual objects in different degrees. the chapter outlines a theoretical framework that appears particularly well-suited for dealing with corresponding phenomena. according to this framework, perception can be under- stood as a triggering of conceptual forms by sensor inputs. it is argued that the attribute of phenomenal realness is based on specific types of internal evaluation functions which deal with the segregation of causes conceived as ‘external’ from those conceived as ‘internal’. these evaluation functions integrate different internal sources of ‘knowledge’ about the potential causes for the activation of conceptual forms and provide markers by which conceptual forms can be tagged as ‘external world objects’. ‘reality’,”
Mausfeld, R.. (2001). What’s within? Can the internal structure of perception be derived from regularities of the external world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences
“We argue, from an ethology-inspired perspective, that the internal concepts ‘surface colours’ and ‘illumination colours’ are part of the data format of two different representational primitives. thus, the internal concept of ‘colour’ is not a unitary one but rather refers to two different types of ‘data structure’, each with its own proprietary types of parameters and relations. the relation of these representational structures is modulated by a class of parameterised transformations whose effects are mirrored in the idealised computational achievements of illumination invariance of colour codes, on the one hand, and scene invariance, on the other hand. because the same characteristics of a light array reaching the eye can be physically produced in many different ways, the visual system, then, has to make an ‘inference’ whether a chromatic deviation of the space-averaged colour codes from the neutral point is due to a ‘non-normal’, ie chromatic, illumination or due to an imbalanced spectral reflectance composition. we provide evidence that the visual system uses second-order statistics of chromatic codes of a single view of a scene in order to modulate corresponding transformations. in our experiments we used centre surround configurations with inhomogeneous surrounds given by a random structure of overlapping circles, referred to as seurat configurations. each family of surrounds has a fixed space-average of colour codes, but differs with respect to the covariance matrix of colour codes of pixels that defines the chromatic variance along some chromatic axis and the covariance between luminance and chromatic channels. we found that dominant wavelengths of red-green equilibrium settings of the infield exhibited a stable and strong dependence on the chromatic variance of the surround. high variances resulted in a tendency towards ‘scene invariance’, low variances in a tendency towards ‘illumination invariance’ of the infield.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2006). Wahrnehmung: Geschichte und Ansätze. In Handbuch der Allgemeinen Psychologie – Kognition
“The interpretation of the role of hla-dpb1 in unrelated haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (hsct) is subject to discussion. we have investigated the role of hla-dpb1 allele matching in hsct outcomes in 161 recipients who were hla-a, -b, -c, -drb1 and -dqb1-matched with their unrelated donors at the allelic level (10/10). in addition, we analysed the association of polymorphic amino acid mismatches of dpb1 molecule with hsct end-points, and a previously published permissiveness concept. hla-dpb1 allele mismatches were significantly associated with an increased incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (agvhd) and worse overall survival (os). the mismatch at amino acid position 69 significantly increased the risk for transplant-related mortality (trm). risk factors for agvhd also included mismatches at positions 8, 9, 35, 76 and 84. this is to our knowledge, the first report of an in vivo effect of single amino acid mismatches on hsct outcomes. in this study, grouping of allelic mismatches into permissive and non-permissive categories and their association with transplantation end-points was relevant for trm but not for other clinical end-points.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Intrinsic multiperspectivity: On the architectural foundations of a distinctive mental capacity. In Cognition and Neuropsychology: International Perspectives on Psychological Science
“Sensory systems serve to link the organism to functionally relevant aspects of the physical environment. a mobile organism requires diverse information from the biologi-cal and physical environment and about its internal state for orientation and movement in space and in order to regulate and control its body and behavior. in the course of evolution, with the increased complexity of tasks serv-ing towards orientation and behavioral control there was a growing need to interrelate the diverse sensory chan-nels and also to integrate information about the internal state of the body. this sensory integration required a regulation of awareness to develop which would be able to fi lter the external signals according to internal motiva-tional and emotional states. as sensory systems are cen-tral for behavioral control, the neuronal architecture of sensory systems is intricately interwoven with the motor system. furthermore, evolutionary considerations sug-gest that fundamental features of perception formed the basis for more abstract cognitive achievements and that the underlying general principles are thus also re fl ected in the organization of cognitive processes. for humans, the sensory integratory achievements pertain not only to haptic, visual, auditive, olfactory, and gustatory perception, but also to the perception of the body and its parts [ 6, 27 ] and the relative position of these parts in relation to each other (proprioception) and to their environment, the perception of the viscera (entero-or visceroception), the perception of pain, the perception of physiognomy and body movements and the thus communicated affective expressions and sig-nals, as well as the perception of speech, events, or time. biological species may differently exploit and utilize the physical energies impinging on the organism and organize these energies in the form of sensory modali-ties . by far the largest part of the impinging spatiotempo-ral energy pattern is not processed for biological purposes. only a highly restricted range of this energy pattern is used for the biological function of coupling the organism to its environment (e.g., humans neither can perceive the plain of polarized light nor the direction of the magnetic fi eld). the physical energy is transduced into neural codes in such a way that the particular physical origin of the resulting code is unidenti fi able (e.g., light perception at the eye may originate from optical, mechanical, or electrical stimuli). t…”
Andres, J., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Structural description and qualitative content in perception theory. Consciousness and Cognition
“Lustrous surface appearances can be elicited by simple image configurations with no texture or specular highlights, as most prominently illustrated by helmholtz’ demonstration of stereoscopic lustre. three types of explanatory framework have been proposed for stereoscopic lustre, which attribute the phenomenon to a binocular luminance conflict, an internalised physical regularity (helmholtz), or to a disentangling of ‘essential’ and ‘accidental’ attributes in surface representations (hering). in order to investigate these frameworks, we used haploscopically fused half-images of centre-surround configurations in which the luminances of the test patch were dynamically modulated. experiment 1 shows that stereoscopic lustre is not specifically tied to situations of a luminance conflict between the eyes. experiment 2 identifies a novel aspect in the binocular temporal dynamics that provides a physical basis for lustrous appearances, namely the occurrence of a temporal luminance counter-modulation between the eyes. this feature sheds some light on the internal principles underlying a disentangling of ‘accidental’ and ‘essential’ surface attributes. experiment 3 reveals an asymmetry between a light and a dark reference level for the counter-modulations. this finding again suggests an interpretation in terms of an internalised physical regularity with respect to the dynamics of perceiving illuminated surfaces.”
“Violations of moralnorms can be made ‘morally invisible’ even if all relevant facts are unobscured: This can be achieved by embedding these facts into a context that prevents eliciting widespread unease and indignation. One example is the structural violence associated with the implementation of neoliberal economical doctrine. While societal and humanitarian consequences of this violence have so far been mostly observed in so-called third-world countries, they also manifest themselves more and more often in western industrialized nations. Mass media play a pivotal role in making facts morally and cognitively visible: In addition to reporting simple facts, media typically also deliver the contextual frame necessary for interpreting the facts, thus shaping our political world view. The invisibility of some moral transgressions is thus part of our daily live and concerns us all.” (Mausfeld, 2015)
However, as soon as the causal reason for the fragmentation becomes available to us (i.e., when we become aware of the visual or ideological “mask”) we are able to use inferential deductivecognitive reasoning processes to identify (and understand) the underlying pattern – despite the fragmentation of information/knowledge (see Figure 2). Without this “causative information” which masks the underlying pattern the likelihood of successful pattern recognition is minute (note that both figures display the letter “R” in various orientations – the difference between them is that Figure 2 shows the mask whereas Figure 1 does not) .
Insight1 (cf. Köhler, 1925)2 into the mechanism which causes the occlusion and fragmentation thus allows us to understand the broader meaning of the percept (or the psychological narrative), viz., we are able to see “the bigger picture” in context. This contextual knowledge can be a visual mask or a historical pattern (as outlined below). The adumbrated perceptual analogy is thus generalisable across prima vista unrelated domains (i.e., it is domain non-specific).
The same idea can be applied to the social sphere. An understanding of the mechanisms which undergird “neoliberal psychological indoctrination” is crucial in order to understand the “bigger picture” – the “holistic gestalt” (Ash, 1998; Sharps & Wertheimer, 2000) of the social, political, economic, and academic environment we inhabit. Based on this overarching knowledge we can then “try our best” to take an appropriate and responsible course of action. However, we first have to perceive and acknowledge the problem. That is, a valid diagnosis is primary. Without this broader understanding we “lose sight of the wood for the trees” (cf. global vs. local perception/information processing), that is, we attend to seemingly unrelated semantic information fragments without an understanding of their mutual interrelations. Interestingly, emotions & affective states play a significant modulatory role in the underlying cognitive processes (e.g., Basso, Schefft, Ris, & Dember, 1996; Gasper & Clore, 2002; Huntsinger, Clore, & Bar-Anan, 2010). In other words, our emotional system is centrally involved in perception and reasoning. Therefore, the emotional system (i.e., limbic system) can be systematically manipulated in order to interfere with rational higher-order (prefrontal) cognitive processes which are necessary for logical inferential reasoning and problem-solving. Primordial fear (phylogenetically ancient amygdalae circuitry) is perhaps the most significant inhibitor of higher-order cognitive processes.
Gross, C. T., & Canteras, N. S.. (2012). The many paths to fear. Nature Reviews Neuroscience
“Fear is an emotion that has powerful effects on behaviour and physiology across animal species. it is accepted that the amygdala has a central role in processing fear. however, it is less widely appreciated that distinct amygdala outputs and downstream circuits are involved in different types of fear. data show that fear of painful stimuli, predators and aggressive members of the same species are processed in independent neural circuits that involve the amygdala and downstream hypothalamic and brainstem circuits. here, we discuss data supporting multiple fear pathways and the implications of this distributed system for understanding and treating fear.”
Povinelli, D. J., & Bering, J. M.. (2002). The mentality of apes revisited. Current Directions in Psychological Science
“Although early compara- tive psychology was seriously marred by claims of our spe- cies’ supremacy, the residual backlash against these archaic evolutionary views is still be- ing felt, even though our un- derstanding of evolutionary biology is now sufficiently ad- vanced to grapple with possi- ble cognitive specializations that our species does not share with closely related species. the overzealous efforts to dis- mantle arguments of human uniqueness have only served to show that most compara- tive psychologists working with apes have yet to set aside the antiquated evolutionary ‘lad- der.’ instead, they have only attempted to pull chimpan- zees up to the ladder’s highest imaginary rung–or perhaps, to pull humans down to an equally imaginary rung at the height of the apes. a true com- parative science of animal minds, however, will recog- nize the complex diversity of the animal kingdom, and will thus view homo sapiens as one more species with a unique set of adaptive skills crying out to be identified and understood.”
Ruiz, G., & Sánchez, N.. (2014). Wolfgang Köhler’s the mentality of apes and the animal psychology of his time. Spanish Journal of Psychology
in 1913, the anthropoid station for psychological and physiological research in chimpanzees and other apes was founded by the royal prussian academy of sciences (berlin) near la orotava, tenerife. eugene teuber, its first director, began his work at the station with several studies of anthropoid apes’ natural behavior, particularly chimpanzee body language. in late 1913, the psychologist wolfgang köhler, the second and final director of the station, arrived in tenerife. during his stay in the canary islands, köhler conducted a series of studies on intelligent behavior in chimpanzees that would become classics in the field of comparative psychology. those experiments were at the core of his book intelligenzprüfungen an menschenaffen ( the mentality of apes ), published in 1921. this paper analyzes köhler’s experiments and notions of intelligent behavior in chimpanzees, emphasizing his distinctly descriptive approach to these issues. it also makes an effort to elucidate some of the theoretical ideas underpinning köhler’s work. the ultimate goal of this paper is to assess the historical significance of köhler’s book within the context of the animal psychology of his time.
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” (Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928)
Bernays, E. L. (1928). Propaganda. Horace Liveright.
Bernays, E. L. (1936). Freedom of Propaganda. Vital Speeches of the Day, 2(24), 744–746.
L’Etang, J. (1999). The father of spin: Edward L. Bernays and the birth of public relations. Public Relations Review, 25(1), 123–124.
“That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . [a]s a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power…. Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach. … The public must be put in its place, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and roar of a bewildered herd.” (Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, Chapter XV)
Lippmann, W. (1920). Liberty and the News. Museum.
Lippmann, W. (1970). The Phantom Public. Politics.
From 1930 onwards, Brecht became part of a wider complex of projects exploring the role of intellectuals (or “Tuis” as he called them) in a capitalist society. A Tui is an intellectual who sells his or her abilities and opinions as a commodity in the marketplace or who uses them to support the dominant ideology of an oppressive society. ] The German modernist theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht invented the term and used it in a range of critical and creative projects, including the material that he developed in the mid-1930s for his so-called Tui-Novel—an unfinished satire on intellectuals in the German Empire and Weimar Republic—and his epic comedy from the early 1950s, Turandot or the Whitewashers’ Congress. The word is a neologism that results from the acronym of a word play on “intellectual” (“Tellekt-Ual-In”).
According to Clark (2006): “… the critique of intellectuals which Brecht developed… around the notion of ‘Tuismus’ engages a model of the public intellectual in which the self-image of the artist and thinker as a socially and politically engaged person corresponded to the expectations of the public.”
Clark, M. W. (2006). Hero or villain? Bertolt Brecht and the crisis surrounding June 1953. Journal of Contemporary History.
Hunt, T. C. N.-. (2004). Goodbye to Berlin: For 200 years, German thinkers have shaped British intellectual life – but their influence is fading fast. The Guardian.
“It is very useful to differentiate between rational and irrational authority. By irrational authority I mean authority exercised by fear and pressure on the basis of emotional submission. This is the authority of blind obedience, the authority you will find most clearly expressed in all totalitarian countries.
But there is another kind of authority, rational authority by which I mean any authority which is based on competence and knowledge, which permits criticism, which by its very nature tends to diminish, but which is not based on the emotional factors of submission and masochism, but on the realistic recognition of the competence of the person for a certain job.”
― 1958. The Moral Responsibility of Modern Man, in: Merrill-Palmer. Quarterly of Behavior and Development, Detroit, Vol. 5, p. 6.
“No expert certification is required to think about these questions, even if the ruling elites try their best to restrict discourse about them to a narrow group of “qualified experts”. As “citoyens”, well-informed and dutiful citizens trying to actively participate in forming our community, we possess what in the age of enlightenment came to be called “lumen naturale”: We are endowed with a natural reasoning faculty that allows us to engage in debates and decisions about matters which directly affect us. We can therefore adequately discuss the essential core of the ways in which grave violations of law and morality are hidden from our awareness without having some specialist education.”(Mausfeld, 2015)
Despite the clear words of these very influential and prominent personalities (i.e., Bernays and Lippmann) some social psychologists argue that “irrational conspiracy theories” are based on fallacious and “illusionary pattern perception” – but see article below.
By contrast, compare the following websites for more information on the actual origin of the “conspiracy theory meme”. According to the in-depth analyses of these scholars, governmental ‘think tanks’ (e.g., well-paid social psychologists) played a crucial role in the invention of the term “conspiracy theory” which is used to prima facie discredit those who challenge the mainstream narrative propagandized by the mass-media and other other social institutions (e.g., schools & universities). The social sciences & humanities have a long well-documented history of contributing to the systematic manipulation of public attitudes & opinions (the public relations industry and the social sciences/humanities are obviously deeply intertwined) (cf. weaponized anthropology). Today, the cognitive neurosciences joined the choir (cf. techniques of neuro-marketing). Psychology (and science in general) is a two-sided sword. It can be used to contribute to the unfoldment of human potential (the humanistic perspective which emphasises liberty and self-actualisation a la Maslow) or the same methods can be used to manipulate and control people (the neoliberal doctrine a la Bernays which focuses on power and submission to authority). It is self-evident on which side of the bipolar continuum (viz., humanism versus neoliberalism) humanity finds itself at the moment…
“We develop a model that clarifies the respective advantages and disadvantages of academic and private-sector research. our model assumes full protection of intellectual property rights at all stages of the development process, and hence does not rely on lack of appropriability or spillovers to generate a rationale for academic research. instead, we focus on control-rights considerations, and argue that the fundamental tradeoff between academia and the private sector is one of creative control versus focus. by serving as a precommitment mechanism that allows scientists to freely pursue their own interests, academia can be indispensable for early-stage research. at the same time, the private sector’s ability to direct scientists towards higher-payoff activities makes it more attractive for later-stage research.”
Academic and Professional Freedom. (1969). British Medical Journal
“This introductory chapter presents the reader with an overview of the historical trends, current status and market developments in academic and professional publishing, and a dark cloud gathering over the industry. the chapter notes how these widespread changes are addressed throughout the book, with chapters providing insight into the integrated, innovative and multi-disciplinary approaches publishers are applying to adapt to the challenges facing the industry and take publishing forward. it also outlines what publishers do, how publishers add value and what the future may look like for the industry.”
Philip G . Altbach. (2001). Academic Freedom : International Realities and Challenges. Higher Education
“Academic freedom is a central value of higher education. it affects the academic profession in all aspects of academic work. yet, academic freedom is rarely discussed in the context of the changes taking place in higher education in the current period. the concept is defined in a historical and comparative framework, and the challenges facing academic freedom around the world are discussed.”
Hill, H. H.. (1955). Academic Freedom and Responsibility. Peabody Journal of Education
“Academic freedom has become a contested category within the united states. on the one hand, conservative scholars have sought to use the term to criticize what they perceive as political correctness in the academy, whereas progressive scholars have sought to bolster academic freedom as a principle that safeguards academic self-determination over and against corporate and government intrusion. recently i published a debate with robert post in academic freedom after september 11. 1 this collection was first of all an effort to understand the definition and range of the concept of academic freedom. in his contribution, post argues that the way to pre-serve academic self-governance is to allow tenured faculty to make judg-ments about curriculum and appointments because they have undergone the relevant professional training in a given discipline and so are uniquely prepared to make these sorts of judgments. to protect academic freedom in this domain, then, depends upon our ability to protect the singular professional capacities that tenured faculty have assumed by virtue of pro-fessional training and practices of peer review. for post, the viability of the institution of academic freedom is founded upon established and agreed-upon academic norms, set and enforced by a professional class of educators who know the fields in question, and these norms, in turn, enable the kinds of research and teaching that we do. these norms, in fact, are the legitimating condition of our academic freedom. i have agreed with post that academic self-governance, which is crucial”
Giroux, H. A.. (2006). Academic Freedom Under Fire: The Case for Critical Pedagogy. College Literature
“Part of a special issue on current right-wing attacks on academic freedom in the united states. there is much more at stake in the current assault on the university than the issue of academic freedom. right-wing extremists and corporate interests are making a concerted attempt to strip the professoriate of any authority, render critical pedagogy as merely an instrumental task, eliminate tenure as a protection for teacher authority, and remove critical reason from any vestige of civic courage, engaged citizenship, and social responsibility. it is critical that academics both develop a theoretical framework for engaging critical pedagogy and develop a defense for its use in the classroom as part of a broader project of linking education to democratic values, identities, public spaces, and relationships.”
Davies, M.. (2015). Academic freedom: a lawyer’s perspective. Higher Education
“The article provides information on the challenges faced by professors in dealing with academic freedom in the u.s. it mentions that it has never been clear if academic freedom is something that belongs to the educational institutions where the professors work or to professors. it states that the quality of higher education will nearly fall without academic freedom.”
Aarrevaara, T.. (2010). Academic freedom in a changing academic world. European Review
“This article considers the academic profession and academic freedom in light of the results of the changing academic profession (cap) survey in finland and four other european countries. academic freedom is examined as a phenomenon that provides a setting for goal determination by members of the academic profession. it has a bearing on both institutional autonomy and individual academic freedom, i.e. the freedom of research and teaching. academic freedom can be examined on the basis of material from the cap survey through the questions about the freedom of teaching, the definition of work, working as a member of a community, the power of influence, funding, and the evaluation of quality. the concept of academic freedom varies slightly between countries, in part because of the growth of higher education systems and because of the increasing demand for ‘relevance’ being imposed on universities. [abstract from author]”
Brown, R. S., & Kurland, J. E.. (2014). Academic Tenure and Academic Freedom. Law and Contemporary Problems
“Tenure, like any other large, occasionally inefficient system, will probably remain under attack for years to come. anecdotal evidence of inferior scholars and teachers shielded by tenure makes a powerful hostile argument, though not a valid one. the economic and social costs of the tenure system are, we believe, outweighed by the fact that tenure is vital to academic freedom. no other proposed alternative (such as legal defenses, internal safeguards, less-than-career tenure, or tenure review) can provide adequate protection to the academic community. a greater danger to the tenure system than outright abrogation is continued circumvention. deficiencies in the due process accorded fired professors, dubious financial exigency claims by colleges and universities, the discontinuation of entire programs, and, especially, runaway expansion of nontenure-track positions threaten not to tear down the tenure system, but to weaken it severely.”
Karran, T.. (2009). Academic freedom in Europe: Time for a Magna Charta?. Higher Education Policy
“This paper is a preliminary attempt to establish a working definition of academic freedom for the european union states. the paper details why such a definition is required for the european union and then examines some of the difficulties of defining academic freedom. by drawing upon the experience of the legal difficulties beset by the concept in the usa and building on previous analyses of constitutional and legislative protection for academic freedom, and of legal regulations regarding institutional governance and academic tenure, a working definition of academic freedom is then derived. the resultant definition, which, it is suggested, could form the basis for a european magna charta libertatis academicae, goes beyond traditional discussions of academic freedom by specifying not only the rights inherent in the concept but also its accompanying duties, necessary limitations and safeguards. the paper concludes with proposals for how the definition might be tested and carried forward. [publication abstract]”
Thomas, N.. (2010). The politics of academic freedom. New Directions for Higher Education
“This is a thematic examination of the most influential ideas and writings on leadership. the text creates order from the chaos of leadership literature, and its structure, style and original approach encourages reader reflection.”